OUR TEAM

Introducing Our Incredible Team: The Heart and Soul of Goat Hospitality Group

At Goat Hospitality Group, our leadership is the driving force behind our success. Our founders, along with our executive team, combine their unique perspectives and diverse backgrounds to provide strategic direction and operational expertise. Together, they share a commitment to excellence, innovation, and a steadfast belief in creating memorable experiences for our patrons.

EXECUTIVE TEAM

Derek Gonzalez

FOUNDER AND CEO, GOAT HOSPITALITY

Derek Gonzalez, the visionary behind Goat Hospitality Group, is renowned for his innovative concepts and flawless execution. With a background in finance and marketing, he made a bold move in 2017 by opening Pilo’s Street Tacos in memory of his Aunt Pilo, who inspired the brand’s essence. Despite the loss of Aunt Pilo to Down Syndrome complications, her legacy thrives in every brand concept. The core mission of Goat Hospitality Group is clear: to become the leading employer of individuals with unique talents.

Since 2017, Derek has introduced three more concepts, aiming to reach a total of 10 operational ones by year-end. An exceptional operator, Mr. Gonzalez combines creativity with market acumen. Yet, his greatest strength lies in identifying and nurturing talent in others. With a dedicated team of diverse experiences, Goat Hospitality Group thrives under his leadership, overseeing all facets with finesse.

Lisa Gonzalez, Esq.

OWNER + LEGAL COUNSEL

Lisa Gonzalez, Esq., serves as the In-House Counsel for Goat Hospitality Group, playing a vital role in its daily operations. Her expert guidance and strategic advice have been instrumental in driving the success of the brand and its various ventures. During her tenure at GOAT, she has skillfully negotiated major deals, crafted meticulous contracts, and provided invaluable legal support to the team.

Graduating with a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Law in 2013, Lisa Gonzalez was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2014, embarking on a journey through real estate law, contracts, corporate law, and civil law. Beyond her legal expertise, Lisa is an accomplished trial attorney with a track record of successfully representing numerous clients across Florida.

OPERATIONS

Nathan P. Smith

CO-OWNER + FOUNDER OF NATHAN’S BEACH CLUB

Nathan P. Smith, the co-owner and founder of Nathan’s Beach Club, a vibrant LGBTQ+ bar and night club, infuses fresh energy into the nightlife scene. With over 28 years of experience running Twist, one of Miami’s most successful LGBTQ+ bars, Nathan aims to offer a safe and inclusive haven for patrons at Nathan’s Beach Club. Collaborating with Derek Gonzalez, Nathan turns his lifelong dream into reality, curating nightly music and programs for a cutting-edge experience.

Stanfford M. Knight III

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Meet Mr. Knight – a name that speaks volumes. Stanfford J. Knight III, our seasoned Director of Operations, brings over 20 years of expertise in Hospitality and Food and Beverage Operations. From overseeing exclusive, members-only properties like Discovery Land Dune Deck and Silo Ridge to managing beverage operations at renowned establishments such as the Standard Hotel, Versace Mansion, SLS Brickell Hotel & Residences, and Clevelander Hotel, Stanfford’s experience is unmatched. His strategic collaborations with the Executive Team drive operational excellence, ensuring the Goat brands stay ahead, grow exponentially, and prioritize patron experiences. Currently, Mr. Knight spearheads the day-to-day operations at Pilo’s Tequila Garden, Nathan’s Video Bar, Champagne Room, and Pilo’s Street Tacos, while also shaping the operational landscape for Goat’s exciting upcoming ventures.

Mitchell Davis

Director of Sales & Promotions

Mitchell Davis brings over 15 years of rich experience in leadership, marketing, and hospitality to the dynamic world of nightclubs, restaurants, and hotels. His proven track record showcases a strategic vision and effective team management style that fosters innovation and customer satisfaction. Specializing in impactful marketing campaigns, he has successfully enhanced brand visibility and foot traffic. Mitchell excels in creating memorable guest experiences, optimizing operational efficiency, and ensuring vibrant and profitable nightlife and dining atmospheres.

His leadership and success have shone at various renowned establishments including Mr Jones Miami, Pilo’s Tequila Garden, SLS Hotel South Beach, W Hotel South Beach, LIV Nightclub, Story Nightclub, Marion Miami, Baoli, DAER Day Club at Hard Rock Hotel, COCO Miami Design District, and more.

Michael Crucet

VIP DIRECTOR

Michael Crucet, the VIP Director overseeing nightlife concepts within the Goat Hospitality Group umbrella, brings over 18 years of expertise in hospitality, hotel, and casino operations. Renowned for elevating guest experiences, he has steered operations at notable venues such as Casino Miami Jai-Alai, SLS Hotel & Residences, Discovery Lands Dune Deck, and Versace Mansion, curating a clientele of Miami’s elite. With a network spanning from top-tier artists and celebrities to Wall Street executives, Mr. Crucet is dedicated to crafting unparalleled experiences for our Patrons. Engaged in VIP offerings at Pilo’s Tequila Garden, Nathan’s Video Bar, and Champagne Room, he continues to innovate and design exclusive experiences for our forthcoming concepts.

Yulissa Escobar

VIP CONCIERGE

Yulissa Escobar, the VIP Concierge at Goat Hospitality Group, excels in fostering relationships with elite clients. Her dedication to enhancing guest experiences surpasses expectations every time. By overseeing customer interactions and expenditures through CRM, Yulissa delivers unparalleled hospitality across all concepts within the Goat Hospitality Group.

Eric Garcia

HUMAN RESOURCES

Eric Garcia is a seasoned Human Resources professional with a robust background spanning over 15 years in various industries, including hospitality, agriculture, retail, legal, and infrastructure engineering. Throughout his career, he has held pivotal Human Resources positions at renowned companies such as Mastec, Lowe’s, the Law offices of Carlos Fleites & Courtney Montiero, Costa Farms, and the Grand Beach Hotel Hospitality Group. As a distinguished subject matter expert in Human Resources, Eric possesses a wealth of knowledge in both operational and strategic HR practices. His areas of expertise encompass recruitment, employee engagement, performance management, benefits administration, payroll, safety protocols, and risk management. Moreover, Eric has garnered extensive experience in managing mergers and acquisitions as well as engaging in union negotiations. Presently, Eric serves as the adept Human Resources Manager at GOAT Hospitality and is an esteemed member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Alberto Morales

GM – NATHAN’S BEACH CLUB

With a passion for delivering exceptional guest experiences, Alberto has embarked on a remarkable journey in F&B management. His experience includes a significant role as the F&B Supervisor at Novotel Miami Brickell Accor, where he not only honed his leadership skills but also played a key role in the success of the establishment.

Alberto’s dedication to excellence goes beyond daily operations. He possesses expertise in liquor and inventory management, cost control, tips handling, and POS systems. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University Del Zulia in Venezuela, Alberto brings a unique blend of financial acumen and creative flair that adds value to the F&B landscape.

Kira Malpica

Marketing Manager

Kira, a marketing manager, brings a distinctive combination of academic accomplishments and marketing proficiency to the forefront. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a minor in entrepreneurship, she balanced academics with being a student athlete during her undergraduate years. Over the last five years, Kira has demonstrated excellence in utilizing marketing strategies, advertising, and promotions to elevate brand identity, vision, and communication, receiving recognition for her strategic acumen and creative ingenuity. Her pursuit of knowledge led her to earn an MBA in business, reinforcing her expertise in marketing strategy and management. With a proven history of accomplishments and a fervor for steering brand advancement, Kira is exceptionally prepared to thrive in any marketing manager position.

Ryan Ragone

Brand Development Manager

Ryan Ragone is a versatile professional with a diverse background spanning sports, media, and business. As a distinguished alumnus of the University of Miami, Ryan’s journey commenced on the football field, showcasing his commitment and collaborative skills. Holding a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication and a minor in Marketing, he furthered his academic pursuits by obtaining a Master’s degree in Liberal Studies.

While at the University of Miami, Ryan not only excelled in athletics but also ventured into the media realm. Co-founding the “King & Ragone Show,” he established a platform to engage with sports enthusiasts and provide insightful commentary on football and beyond. The success of this podcast led to the creation of “The Ryan Ragone Show,” which rapidly became a prominent sports podcast, highlighting Ryan’s adeptness at captivating audiences and discussing intricate sports narratives.

Ryan’s entrepreneurial drive extended beyond podcasting. In the summer of 2023, he interned at Goat Hospitality, where he applied his marketing expertise and strategic communication skills to real-world business challenges. This experience honed his abilities in leadership, entrepreneurship, teamwork, and marketing, solidifying his acumen in the business domain.

Ryan Ragone transcends being just a former collegiate athlete or a podcast host; he is a visionary with a track record of leadership and innovation. Armed with a robust foundation in strategic communication and marketing, complemented by his media and hospitality experience, Ryan is well-equipped to deliver substantial value to any business venture he undertakes.

FINANCE TEAM

David Santos

DIRECTOR OF FINANCE

Portuguese, born and raised, David Santos has been working in the United States since 2010, first in the wine industry in Napa, California and then on the hospitality business in the East Coast.

With more than a decade of financial expertise in the hospitality sector, he is a results-driven professional with a reputation for delivering excellence and thinking outside the box. His journey took flight at the Pestana Group, the biggest Portuguese hospitality brand, where he led finance operations for hotels in the US and Portugal, fostering cross-continental collaboration. He played a key role in the successful openings of hotels in New York and Miami, earning recognition for meticulous budgeting, financial control and revenue management. Before joining Goat Hospitality Group, he worked as the CFO of the Savoy Hotel & Beach Club, #1 on Tripadvisor in Miami Beach, where he was entrusted with overseeing daily operations, strategic planning, and vendor management.

When asked what a Director of Finance does, he always remembers what he is supposed to do: deliver solutions where others see problems, not forgetting that hospitality is an industry to fulfill expectations and dreams.

Ana Rangel

ACCOUNTING MANAGER

Ana Rangel is a seasoned professional with a hardworking and enthusiastic attitude. Ana manages accounts payable along with our Director of Finance and is able to multi-task while keeping a positive attitude and execptional customer service experience. Ana has a keeneye for numbers and works in tandem with the team to create our company’s statements, and projections for both current and future projects.

FROZARITAS

Derek Gonzalez

CO-CEO

Derek Gonzalez is the mastermind behind Goat Hospitality Group. He is known for his creative concepts and unmatched execution. Mr. Gonzalez has a background in both finance and marketing. During the height of a a successful career in finance, Derek took a leap in 2017 when he opened Pilo’s Street Tacos in honor of his Aunt Pilo. Aunt Pilo passed from complications from Down Syndrome, but her influence lives on in every concept under the brand. The mission of Goat Hospitality Group is simple: to be the largest employer of individuals with ‘special abilities. ‘

Since 2017, Derek has launched an additional 3 concepts and is slated to have a total of 10 operational concepts by year end. Mr. Gonzalez is a phenomenal operator with creative imagination and the know how to understand the demands of the market. While Derek’s ideas and work ethic are of the highest caliber, they are only outshined by his ability to recognize talents and abilities in others. He has successfully cultivated a team with varied experience that assists him in overseeing all aspects of Goat and its concepts.

James Vitrano

CO-CEO

James has a combined 20 years of legal, executive, M&A, employment, and franchise experience in a variety of industries with a deep focus in the structuring and scaling of multiple offerings in the F&B/Restaurant sectors. James also partners with ownership and executives to assist in strategic operational planning and execution; executive development; structure to scale; and, FP&A. He has significant experience in the buying and selling of various size businesses.

Currently, James is a partner in various hospitality ownership groups launching or growing various concepts serving as owners/investors, operators, and/or franchisors. He is a proud co-owner of Sucré, a New Orleans-based patisserie franchise, where he is also the CEO of the growing brand. Additionally, James is a co-founder of Table 23, an F&B consulting firm specializing in assisting emerging and legacy brands scale and improve profitability.

Prior to the above, James was the CEO, President, COO and a member of the Board of the parent company of Fat Tuesday – one of the world’s first and largest retailers of frozen specialty alcoholic beverages. During his tenure, his team created a dual brand franchising system; nearly doubled EBDITA despite a global pandemic; and, delivered over 80% new store/pipeline growth from original store count. James successfully led the sale of the company for the founding family to a strategic buyer.

Prior to Fat Tuesday, he was the Vice President of Global Franchise for Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (RTI). He led global operations for the RTI franchise system with over 60 stores on five continents and over $100MM in topline sales. At RTI, James also served as the General Counsel of the then- publicly traded company. He led a team that handled all legal, risk and employee relations matters for Ruby Tuesday and its 25,000 team members. In that role, James led the strategic alternatives process for the eventual $150MM public-to-private sale of RTI.